Production level — what does that mean to you? When is software ready to leave beta or be labeled with a new integer? When should software hit the point-0 mark... 1.0, 2.0, 3.0? If you're GameSalad, three years is not enough time. If you're running Firefox or Chrome, it seems like every other Monday. But with Stencyl, I think that they've got a good pace going. The numbers are ticking by quickly, but so are the new features. Version 2.0 is a significant change from the previous 1.4 version.
So... what's new?! The most noticeable change that I can see is the new "Events" system. The layout is a bit different. Instead of one giant list of Stencyl blocks, now they're segregated to a game event... like when an actor/scene is created, drawing or updating. Those were the three main brackets for Stencyl programming. But now, there are many more. It dramatically changes the way the software works. It becomes more object orientated, as the arrangement of blocks is less linear. The events take priority. And considering that video games are about on-screen action, this is a good change.
Here are some of the other new features...
- Easier block selection
- Trash Can
- Pre-Shipped Behaviors
- Google Chrome Web Store publishing
- Improved memory usage
Along with this new release, Stencylpedia was also updated to version 2.0.
Version 2.0 is such a big change that I've been using the beta for a while. I usually stay clear from beta software. I don't like the frustration that usually accompanies bleeding edge software. But now that things are starting to settle down with Stencyl, maybe I can finally get some real work done. I have yet to publish a complete game with the software.
One of the main reasons for the struggle is that I keep accidentally deleting my work. You might want to be mindful of where your game projects are stored. I was obliterating entire directories — and my work went along for the ride. While hopping between 1.4 and 2.0 / Mac and Windows, I made lots of foolish mistakes.
Stencyl 2.0 is a new installation. So, you could have two versions stored on your computer. Before you start deleting the old version, it might be a good idea to backup your projects. Your Workspace folder can be located by accessing the Stencyl Preferences.
My overall mood with Stencyl has improved. Even though I have been struggling to master this software, it's hard to get angry with software that is so frequently updated... lead by hardworking individuals... and a community that is frequented by such mellow and intelligent developers.